Iconic music photographer Mick Rock, known for shooting Queen, David Bowie, and more of the world’s greatest musicians, passed away on November 18th.
The creative world is mourning the loss of one of the greats. Mick Rock’s official Twitter account announced his death in a statement accompanied by a portrait shot of the famed photographer taken by his daughter Nathalie.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share our beloved psychedelic renegade Mick Rock has made the Jungian journey to the other side,” the statement reads. “Those who had the pleasure of existing in his orbit, know that Mick was always so much more than ‘The Man Who Shot The 70s.’”
“He was a photographic poet – a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way.”
Rock’s skills and experience allowed him to rub shoulders with some of music’s biggest stars. According to Variety, Rock began his career by photographing local concerts “while attending college at Cambridge”.
I am saddened by the passing of my friend and photographer, Mick Rock. Mick took some of the most legendary photos in rock n’ roll history. These pictures that graced album covers, posters that plastered my walls, gave me fuel to dream. pic.twitter.com/7jQ9GzTQnh
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) November 19, 2021
He met singer David Bowie in 1972 – an encounter that led Rock to become the Starman’s official photographer (and in some cases, music video producer and director) around the Ziggy Stardust era. Rock worked on the videos for Space Oddity, Jean Geniem and John, I’m Only Dancing.
Rock moved on to create other iconic images of the ’70s music scene, from Iggy and the Stooges’ album cover for Raw Power to the cover of Queen’s second studio album, Queen II. Others include covers for I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll by Joan Jett, End of the Century by the Ramones, and many more.
RIP to photographer Mick Rock. Even if you didn’t know his name (you should know his name!) you definitely knew his iconic work pic.twitter.com/ZWhZZqjsUU
— Clayton Cubitt (@claytoncubitt) November 19, 2021
All of Rock’s images from the decade were characterised by their glamour and intensity.
“The stars seemed to effortlessly align for Mick when he was behind the camera; feeding off of the unique charisma of his subjects electrified and energized him,” the Twitter statement also reads.
“His intent always intense. His focus always total. A man fascinated with image, he absorbed visual beings through his lens and immersed himself in their art, thus creating some of the most magnificent images rock music has ever seen.”
Born on November 22, 1948, in London, Rock’s legendary career transcended the ’70s, leading him to work with artists from across genres and decades.
As reported by Variety, Rock’s undeniable talent with a camera was seen first-hand by musicians including “the Misfits, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, the Killers, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs…” and many more.
As of now, Rock’s cause of death has not been revealed but through his undeniably masterful work, he will rock on forever.